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Sick leave for self-isolation means ‘stay at home’, civil servants told

Any civil servant caught outside their place of residence without a valid reason while on a sick leave certificate for Covid-19 self-isolation will face disciplinary proceedings, the Gibraltar Government said this week, even as it praised the vital role played by public servants working to keep Gibraltar functioning.

The message issued to all civil servants after “a very few cases” of people were observed “breaking the trust and responsibility” that has been placed upon them, a spokesman for No.6 Convent Place said.

In a circular from the Government’s Human Resources manager, civil servants were told they must report any absences as a result of being in self isolation and obtain the corresponding sick note.

The bulletin explains that should employees follow this procedure “all will be well.”

But it reminds civil servants: “If you are asked to self-isolate, you must remain at home.”

“Any officer caught outside their place of residence, without a valid reason, whilst on a certificate for COVID-19 self-isolation, will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings under their respect [sic] disciplinary processes.”

There are currently 96 civil servants in self isolation, the government spokesman said.

He added: “The behaviour of a few should in no way tarnish the way public servants in general have stepped up and delivered a sterling service: this does not refer just to our front line services, such as doctors, nurses, health professionals and so forth; there are many silent heroes working in the background.”

The circular from Human Resources underscores the vital role played by civil servants who are working behind the scenes to ensure the machinery of government continues to function.

The circular reads: “As you are all aware, it is vital and in the best interests of all our community that all essential public services continue to be smoothly operational and in order to achieve this we are re-deploying staff accordingly and every employee’s role is essential in this very difficult time.”

The bulletin thanks civil servants for their work amidst the current public health emergency.

“I am proud to witness how most of the Public Service has pulled together and has responded with great positivity and resilience in this time of great need,” the circular reads.

“To that I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest thanks to you all and ask that you continue to discharge your duties or the duties assigned to you with the energy and passion that is being witnessed across our community.”

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